Briefing Note - Walk Leaders

Walk+Talk Risk Assessment

We ask that all volunteer Walk Leaders read this briefing note.

Walk+Talk is an engagement meant for veterans, serving military and family. It is an adult activity, however, children may attend under the direct supervision of a parent. The Walk+Talk Risk Assessment briefing note for Walk Leaders is designed to help mitigate risks of the activity.

Walk+Talk Risk Assessment Considerations

Dangerous weather (lightning / storms / high winds / floods / icy / heat)
In the event of forecast or unexpected bad weather please consider the risks for the Walk+Talk. With storms or lightning please consider delaying or cancelling a walk. For high winds (and tree or branch falling risks), flooding or icy conditions please consider the safety of your planned route - if necessary alter your route to avoid obstacles or potential dangers, or cancelling the walk if appropriate. In high heat please consider routes that utilise shade or shaded rest points.

Please assess weather before your walk and communicate with participants to best prepare for suitable clothing, waterproof accessories, sun screen, and suitable food and water for hydration. If you are walking in poor visibility please ensure that a member of the group has a torch and some visible clothing.

Obstacles (road crossing / animals / pedestrians / cyclists / debris / pot holes)
Please be aware of obstacles in planning your route and also during a walk. Walk Leaders should take extra caution at road crossings or at hazards (for example a slippery path or slope) by communicating the risks to members and paying extra attention to children and dogs. Please take note of livestock and any dogs on the walk, and ensure that cattle are avoided where possible or dogs kept on short leads. Where your walk coincides with cycle paths please ask members at the front and rear of the group to clearly communicate when a cyclist or runner is approaching. And the same warning system can be used for pot holes or unexpected obstacles. If your route has been blocked by a major obstacle consider re-routing or cancelling your walk.

Car Park risks
Please take extra vigilance, particularly if children are present, when meeting in and around a car park, asking participants to remain aware of moving or reversing vehicles.

In the event of an accident or medical incident
Please plan routes where you are confident that you will have phone reception in the event of an emergency.

Participant or bystander has serious health problem (eg heart attack, stroke, asthma attack) during a walk - call 999 and clearing explain your circumstances and the symptoms to the emergency support services. If you have a trained first aider in the group they can lead the process.

Participant falls causing injury - If a trained first aider is present then they should assess the best course of action as to whether the injured person is able to be helped back. If in doubt in a non-emergency case call 101. If an emergency call 999.

Types of Walks
Walk+Talk events are gentle, localised walking groups for small numbers (up to 10 participants). They are not walking events on arduous or potentially dangerous terrain - for example a Walk+Talk Risk Assessment and Liability does not cover mountainous walks, walking at altitude, running or cycling. If a Walk+Talk Event Organiser wishes to lead a walk in more arduous terrain (for example in the Brecon Beacons or Peak District) then they take on full liability for the walk, and participants acknowledge this whether it is published or not. In this case the Event Organiser should be suitably qualified to lead a walk in the planned terrain and conditions and they must ensure that they make an independent Risk Assessment for the activity, notifying participants of this.

Point of contact:
Walk+Talk representative - Robin Bourne-Taylor

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